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Joey Porter Jr. Recalls ‘Great Relationship’ With Mike And Dino Tomlin Growing Up, Calls Pre-Draft Visit ‘A Good Reunion’

It’s far from uncommon for children of professional athletes to follow in their parents’ footsteps, even to reach a similar level of accomplishment in their chosen field. It does seem on the surface that we’re seeing more and more children of professional football players reach the big stage.

Among the latest is Joey Porter Jr., one of two sons, four children in all, of Joey Porter Sr. The outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1999 to 2006. He also spent five more years in the NFL with Miami and Arizona afterward, but in terms of football, Pittsburgh is where most of the younger Porter’s memories reside.

Though he actually largely grew up on the west coast, in fact was born in Bakersfield, CA, the Porter family moved back east in the mid-2010s, where he would go on to attend North Catholic High School and then North Allegheny Senior High School before playing at Penn St.

It was during this time that he really got to know “Dino”, Michael Dean Tomlin, the oldest child of Mike and Kiya Tomlin. They played on the same football team at North Catholic, which of course often led him into contact with Dad.

A lot of times”, in fact, as Porter Jr. recalled to Rich Eisen about his pre-college encounters with the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach. “I can’t even count. I was over his house a couple times because I was great friends with his son. We have a great relationship”.

Porter’s father, of course, played for the Steelers, but never for Tomlin. It wasn’t until 2014 that he was hired to be part of Tomlin’s coaching staff. But the younger Porter still grew up around the Steelers facilities where his father played. He was five years old when his father won the Super Bowl. Still, it was something of reunion getting back there for a visit during the pre-draft process.

“I haven’t seen (Tomlin) in a while because obviously I’ve been at Penn State taking care of business, same as him”, he said. “It was a good reunion to see him and see some of the staff there. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, so I’ve seen a lot of old faces. I already knew the facility. It was a great visit”.

Oh yeah, did I fail to mention that Joey Porter Jr. is a cornerback prospect expected to be drafted in the first round later this month? And that the Steelers are quite likely to be in the market for a cornerback, should a worthy player be available when they select at 17?

Pittsburgh’s most recent first-round pick, quarterback Kenny Pickett, came in with great familiarity inside the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex after playing five years for the Pittsburgh Panthers. Porter could make it two in a row to share those local ties and that geographical familiarity. But if he does, it will be because his abilities and his character earned it.

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